IAH- Layover Question

Old Nov 19th, 2021, 06:13 PM
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IAH- Layover Question

Wondering if anyone would have any experience or knowledge that could help us know if a 7 hour layover in Houston (on an overnight flight Lima to Houston and 7 hours later onward to Toronto) would leave enough time to benefit (as in shower, hot breakfast) from a day room at the Marriott hotel (in the airport)?

From what I’ve read on the IAH website, transiting passengers clear immigration and collect baggage and recheck them after customs?

Would exiting the secure area to go to the hotel add a significant amount of time (in order to reenter the secure area)? I’ve done this a few times in Frankfurt and it made the travel day so much more enjoyable- it was quick and easy to do.

Usually I would be arriving to the US from Toronto, after passing through pre-clearance before boarding.
I’d appreciate any helpful tips!
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Old Nov 20th, 2021, 08:05 AM
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You would go through security after customs anyway so a day room wouldn't really add any 'extra' time.

Which airline(s) are you flying and do you have lounge access? There Admirals Club, United Club etc (I don't think any of thse have showers though). United's Polaris Lounge does and it reopens sometime in December. I think the Amex Centurion Lounge also has showers.
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Old Nov 20th, 2021, 02:12 PM
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You will collect your bags, carry them through customs then drop off checked bags immediately after you exit customs. No need to go through security until you are making your connecting flight.

That Marriott is on the airport property and is served by the underground tram. It's not posh but quite comfortable and food in the restaurant is decent. With seven hours you should have plenty of time for a shower, a bite and a nap.
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Old Nov 20th, 2021, 03:49 PM
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You must be flying United. I have been in both the terminal B and terminal E United clubs at IAH (but not the Polaris one) and neither had showers. Terminal B club has alcoves with furniture and would be by far the better choice for sleeping. Expect some hot food, although not quite a real meal. Full price for the regular clubs with a United boarding pass is $59 each, although the United credit card will get you 2 passes free if you can get that offer (could be a USA resident only thing). Passes show up at a discount on Craigslist in United hub cities but buying from a third party like that officially voids them.
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 06:35 AM
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We are flying on one ticket: Air Canada/ United. The YYZ/IAH legs are AC business and the LIM/IAH legs are UA Polaris however I read on United’s website that the Polaris lounge doesn’t admit passengers flying from/ to Canada or Lima- only international long hauls.

We have some Marriott points we can use, so that’s probably what we’ll do since it sounds feasible.

Thank you all for the replies and information!
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 07:38 AM
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Well if flying top class you get free access to the basic United clubs so you can check out the Terminal A or B club on the flight down and see if it might work for a snooze on the return.

General comment: like Phoenix, IAH is one of those linear pearls-on-a-string airport designs that means the farthest gates are really, really, really far apart. The central spine is a roadway and parking structures and the gates are in clusters strewn on either side of the road with “bridges” spanning the road at various points. An aerial tram connects the terminals on the northern side of the road.

Air Canada uses the westernmost Terminal A and international arrivals is between the easternmost Terminals D & E. So even people who know the way would plan for a solid half hour to just get from A to D/E and vice versa.

Last edited by tom_mn; Nov 21st, 2021 at 08:10 AM.
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for that helpful explanation. We have a 5 hour layover on the way to Lima and will check out the lounges then.

For the journey down the travel agent wanted to book what he referred to as a “legal” connection of 1 hr 10 min. I listened to my instincts and said “no thank” to that option. Thank goodness for that!
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 11:11 AM
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The International terminals are undergoing significant renovations and many of the lounges are not open right now. Be sure to check with your airline to see if theirs is
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 04:23 PM
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Checking the last couple of departures, the United Lima flight left IAH from Terminal C, not the international Terminal E.

The return flight will arrive at the farther international arrivals area.
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Old Nov 21st, 2021, 05:46 PM
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When I flew UA to Lima in Polaris I did have access to the Polaris lounge at IAH. Peru is one of the South American countries that earns access to Polaris. It had been temporarily closed, but some Polaris locations have been re-opening so worth checking. If it is still closed, there are United Club locations that are open at IAH. Service has changed - no more buffet lines, everything wrapped individually - but when we passed through in late August there were some decent food options, both breakfast and lunch items. Attendants strictly enforced mask requirements.
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